How do rape drugs work on the body?

In the early 1990s, news began to circulate in the UK about women being raped or sexually assaulted during a hangout after anonymous people gave them an unknown substance in the drink. Subsequent tests revealed anesthetics and sedatives in the complainants’ blood and urine. The name “rape drug” was given to these substances only a few years later, but the phenomenon already existed before and has not stopped even today. How do rape drugs work on the body, what are their symptoms and what are the signs that should light red lights for the possibility that someone next to you has been drugged?

Rape drug is not a single substance, but a general name for tranquilizers that act on the central nervous system and can facilitate sexual assault. Some are tasteless, odorless and colorless, or are not noticeable when diluted with a drink. The specific effects these substances cause may vary from drug to drug and from person to person, but the common denominator for all of them is that they can cause a feeling of blurring, confusion, decreased ability to resist another person, loss of consciousness or memory impairment. The four most common rape drugs are GHB, ketamine, rohiphenol and of course alcohol, but there are many others.

The effect of most rape drugs Increased If you combine them with drinking alcohol, which is indeed very common in social situations like spending time at a bar. The reason for this effect is that alcohol and other rape drugs act on the same targets in the brain and have a similar effect. The combination of them may also interfere with the process of breaking down the drug, as the enzymes responsible for breaking down the two types of substances will sometimes “prefer” to break down the alcohol, thus allowing the drug to accumulate and increase its effect.

Weightlifters for the Party Scene: Gamma-Hydroxy-Butyrate (GHB)

The drug Gamma-hydroxy-butyrate (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate), or GHB for short, Synthesized for the first time in 1874, but it was not until the 1960s that its effect on humans was tested in order to develop an effective anesthetic. It is initially given to people with sleep disorders. At the same time it has gained popularity among professional weightlifters due to its contribution to raising the levels of growth hormone in their blood and their muscle mass. In the 90s, its use in the party scene increased due to its cheap price and simple production, and because in a low dose it gives a feeling of release and slight intoxication, and causes chatter and an increase in sexual desire. He is known as G or Gina, among others.

The drug passes from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream, and easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, whose function is to restrict the passage of substances to the central nervous system. Contributing to this is the fact that GHB is found in the brain naturally, albeit in very small amounts. Its activity on the brain Stems from its ability to bind to the receptor of the neurotransmitter GABA and through it reduce neuronal activity in the brain. In a normal state, the nervous system maintains a balance between the GABA and other neurotransmitters that increase nerve activity. The greater the amount of GHB, the stronger its restraining effect on neural activity in the brain.

The article was originally published on the Davidson website

The effect of GHB Begins about a quarter of an hour or more after exposure to it. It is manifested by a feeling of fatigue, slow breathing and a slowing of the pulse rate. Later a feeling of blurring is accompanied by euphoria, followed by drowsiness and loss of consciousness alternately. In severe cases, seizures and even coma can occur. It is very easy to take an overdose of GHB, since the difference between a dose that gives a feeling of release and a dose that causes memory loss, bad feeling, loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing and even death is tiny. GHB is very dangerous if combined with other depressants, such as alcohol or ketamine.

Molecular structure of ketamine | Photo: Imagebank / Thinkstock

Animals for humans: Ketamine

Ketamine (Ketamine) was first developed in the 1960s and came into widespread use only in the 1990s. It was originally used primarily as a veterinary anesthetic, but doctors have also prescribed it as a painkiller for humans. Ketamine binds in the brain to receptors called NMDA that cause a decrease in motor activity. In addition, it is considered a hallucinogenic drug that causes, among other things, attention problems, impaired judgment and a feeling of dissociation (out-of-body experience). It is used to study schizophrenia due to its ability to mimic some of the symptoms of the disease and is also being tested to treat depression. It is also used as a club drug and known as K, Kitact, Special K, Vitamin K and more.

Victims of the drug may feel an irregular pulse, high blood pressure and nausea about half an hour after swallowing it. Some women claim to have felt a little bitterness in their drink after taking ketamine. The drug evokes a feeling of disconnection, calmness, confusion, loss of sense of time, impaired memory and lack of control over body movements. It may also have long-term effects, such as impaired normal thinking skills. It is dangerous to combine it with alcohol or GHB, as it increases their effect.

Lintel for blue: Rohiphenol

The third most common rape drug – at least according to the media – is Flunitrazepam, known under the trade names Rohypnol or Hypnodorm, and known as “Rupee”. It was developed in the 60s of the 20th century and came into use in the 70s as a particularly powerful drug for the treatment of insomnia. Its chemical structure is very similar to that of the sedative Valium, which is given to people suffering from anxiety, but due to the small chemical difference between them, rohiphenol 10 times stronger than volume 10. The drug is still marketed as a legal drug in some countries, and to try to prevent its misuse it already in 1998 changed the commercial pill so that it dissolves less well in water. They also added a substance that paints the drink blue, so that it is easy to identify in clear drinks.

Rohypnol also binds to GABA receptors, and is involved in communication between nerve cells and other cells in the body. Since the nerve cells in the body are responsible for the formation of proteins associated with the construction of memory, and rohiphenol disrupts the formation process of the building blocks of those proteins, it can also cause Memory disorders (amnesia). Many of those who have been exposed to the drug testify that they do not remember anything from what happened starting a few minutes after swallowing it. The effect of the drug depends on the dose and personal characteristics of those who received it, but like GHB the victims may also feel fatigue and blurred senses.

Rohypnol “starred” many times in the media as a drug used to carry out sexual assaults. However according to Report from 2009 The drug is involved in only a very small proportion of the attacks carried out under the influence of drugs. Much of this is done with the help of other anesthetics or alcohol.

Rape drug, illustration (Photo: 123rf)

Rape drug, illustration | Photo: 123rf

The legal drug: alcohol

It is important to remember that alcohol can also be used as a rape drug for anything, due to its blurring effect, and it is indeed the most widely used rape drug, and also the oldest drug. There are two stories in the Torah in which drunkenness was used for sexual assault – a story of Noah and his sons and the story of Lot and his daughters. Large amounts of alcohol cause symptoms similar to those of other rape drugs, such as loss of consciousness, memory loss and lack of control. Although the taste of alcohol is strong, there are drinks whose sweetness masks the bitterness of alcohol, thus creating the illusion that the concentration of alcohol in the drink is lower than it really is.

Identification and defense

Rape drugs start to take effect quite quickly, while their symptoms sometimes go away only after a few hours. Some of the drugs also leave the body quickly and are impossible to trace in urine or blood as early as a few hours later. Others can also be discovered a few days after use. Innovative technologies now make it possible to detect exposure to rape drugs even a month to six months later, using Hair sample. This is possible because our hair roots are nourished by the circulatory system and stored in the hairs to record the substances that have reached them. This is how hair tests can be used Important evidence In rape cases. A study done at Wolfson Hospital In 2020 he found that out of 18 hair samples taken from women the suspicion arose that they had been sexually assaulted under the influence of a rape drug, in four of them GHB residues were identified.

In order to avoid the danger of someone putting unknown substances in your drinks, it is important to remain extremely vigilant even during recreation. Try not to leave drink glasses and bottles open unattended, not even for a moment, do not drink open drinks that other people bring with you, and pay attention to any unusual behavior of those around you. Also, if you are drinking alcohol, pay attention if someone is trying to hire you. In case of suspicion that you or someone close to you will give you a drink with a rape drug, seek medical attention immediately. And if you see someone or someone who is dizzy to the point of unconsciousness during recreation, accompany them to a safe place, make sure they get medical treatment and do not let anyone take advantage of their condition. And remember, if you were drugged and attacked It’s not your fault.

Signs that may indicate exposure to a rape drug:

A feeling of blurring and confusion
2. Deep and sudden fatigue
3. Intermittent loss of consciousness
4. Loss of self-control

The Davidson Institute

By Editor

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